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Old November 27th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #1
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Lavs

I am looking to get some portable Lavs for my HVX and I was wondering what lavs in the 500 dollar range do people like. I have used some Sony's and Audio Technica and have had problems with drop out.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 02:42 PM   #2
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I am looking to get some portable Lavs for my HVX and I was wondering what lavs in the 500 dollar range do people like. I have used some Sony's and Audio Technica and have had problems with drop out.
Are you asking about lav mics per se or are you asking for wireless lav kits that include mics, transmitters, and receivers? Strictly speaking, a "lav" is just the microphone part - some connect to wireless units and some are hard-wired with a cable to the mixer or camera.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 03:26 PM   #3
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wireless lav kits is what i am looking for
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Old November 27th, 2007, 07:26 PM   #4
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NY, NY is a very problematic town for wireless mics. You have to know a bit about local frequencies and what to expect from the mics.

Reduced range and interference can come from TV stations, other wireless mics, cell phones, nextel phones, blackberrys, taxicabs, CB radio and any number of sources.

You can extend the range by using more directional antennae on the receivers.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old November 27th, 2007, 08:55 PM   #5
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$500 is entry level for frequency-agile UHF, which is what you want. This includes the Sony UWCP and Sennheiser EW100G2 sets. Neither comes with particularly great lav mics... not surprising since a great lav perhaps starts at $2-300 by itself.

Lots of folks like these sets, even with the supplied lavs.

For a little more money you might get the new AT 1800 series.

Sorry I have no insight on freqs in NY. This is probably a good time to shop locally and get some good advice on what's working around town.

To truely deal with congested freqs you might give more consideration to rentals... I'd guess a nice Lectro or Zaxcom digital set would have no issues with NY... but that's just a guess, I've never worked there.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 09:08 PM   #6
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I'd guess a nice Lectro or Zaxcom digital set would have no issues with NY... but that's just a guess, I've never worked there.
Actually Billy Sarokin, who is on the Zaxcom list with me, can probably give you great insight into NY and wireless. But, from what I understand he is using pretty much all Zaxcom TRX units and still has to be very careful with the frequencies. He has a scanner that he uses to help him out, but neither the Lectros or Zaxcom units are going to help you when you are bombarded with RF. Thus the reason he uses a scanner to help him pick out frequencies that are less likely to give him problems.

Wayne
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Old November 27th, 2007, 09:19 PM   #7
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Wayne's very, very right.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old November 27th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #8
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I've used the cheap sony $500 wireless you are referring to in a place with pretty low RF in the boonies, and they were never reliable. you could change the freq and they would still have problems. part of their problem is the plastic cases that let RF in rather then the better units with metal cases that only take RF in via the annentea. They are also tricky to change the freq, and use a 1/8 mini jack for output.

OTH I've used my lectros up in the rainbow room (63rd flr rockefeller center) which as to be RF purgatory, and they worked great. my lectros always worked in NYC without a problem. for a few hundred more, you can pick up a used lectro and that would be my choice. for less then that you are rolling the dice. I did take a close look at the new AT units, but then I saw that the RF output was 30mw in "hi power" mode and 10mw in lower power mode. maybe ok in a office, or other close work, but go 100ft and its another story, or where there is a lot of competing RF energy. the lectro body paks put out 100mw, and there are new ones that are 200 or 250mw. nothing like pure RF power to overcome interference so you get more good signal, especially once you are putting some distance in. as with everything else, you get what you pay for.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #9
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Kevin, go for the Sennheisers. Not as good as Lectros I'm not gonna lie but they'll do the job and do it well enough for what you need. I've worked with the G2s in NYC with no problems. I've also worked with production companies that do stuff for tv that have G2s in their kit.

It's all good, if you're looking in the $500 range, go for the G2s. If you want to spend a little more get the dual package that comes with 2 g2s, the buttplug and 2 TRAMS.

You're always gonna have dropouts in the wrong frequency even lectros do that.

Peace

And let me know how it goes for you.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 06:59 AM   #10
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I did take a close look at the new AT units, but then I saw that the RF output was 30mw in "hi power" mode and 10mw in lower power mode. maybe ok in a office, or other close work, but go 100ft and its another story, or where there is a lot of competing RF energy. the lectro body paks put out 100mw, and there are new ones that are 200 or 250mw. nothing like pure RF power to overcome interference so you get more good signal, especially once you are putting some distance in. as with everything else, you get what you pay for.
Well, not exactly, Steve. Pure RF power isn't as important as how well the receiver is designed, although it will eat batteries a lot quicker. I just reviewed the new Audio Limited 2040. They are somewhere around 30-50 mW. I got a straight-line 1100 feet with them. They carried farther than the Lectro SMQ. They cost $5000 a set and sound better than anything I have heard yet.

The new AT got almost as far as the Lectro SMQ.

All things being equal -- and they seldon are -- doubling RF power of a wireless does not double your range. It MIGHT give you 10-15% more. It might increase the density of the signal closer in, thereby making the link stronger. Bigger and somewhat directional antennae on the receivers can also help.

All present scanner I've seen can be fooled. I went from 300 feet to 1100 feet simply by bumping up .5 MHz and the scanner was no help in explaining why.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 10:31 PM   #11
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thanks everyone
i appreciate all of your feedback
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 01:52 AM   #12
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So far my AT 1800 has been very reliable. No dropouts but my working range is generally 20 feet or less.

I did get some odd, randomly-occurring interference but changing frequencies solved it.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 10:08 AM   #13
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I'd say rule number one is only use wireless when you absolutely have no other choice. I think it's far more important to invest in a great lav, than a wireless kit w/ the supplied lavs.

I was using the Sennheiser G2 system on a documentary recently, but I seldom used it. I would run an XLR cable to the camera to hard wire an ECM77B whenever it was possible.

For those few times that wireless was the only option, I didn't use the supplied lavs that came with the G2 system. They were too poor quality. I had to rig up the ECM77Bs through some adapters to get it into the G2. It sounded okay, but overall I wasn't pleased with the interference we were getting.

In retrospect, I wish I'd experimented with other frequencies that might have minimized interference issues.

Anyway, if I were buying a wireless kit right now I'd probably get the AT 1800 series as well.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 02:57 PM   #14
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I'll second the vote of confidence in the AT1800. I've never had a dropout. Never used it in NYC though, so I don't want to promise too much.
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