Sennheiser EW100 G2 Dropouts? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 16th, 2005, 05:57 PM   #1
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Sennheiser EW100 G2 Dropouts?

Straight to the point: Is anyone experiencing dropouts with the Sennheiser EW112p G2 or the EW100-ENG G2 portable wireless mic systems?

There are quite a few glowing reports of these systems in this forum and elsewhere. I had just about made up my mind to buy one of these when I ran across the following report:

DV.com Audio Solutions Forum: Sennheiser Evo 100 G2? See the post by xl1s on 5/17/2004

This thread reports significant dropouts for the original "Evolution 100 G1" system (which I assume is the EW112p), and provides links to audio files comparing it to a Sony system.

In addition there are other posts in the DV.com forums that report dropout by the EW112p G2, but no examples are given. One person also state that there is little or no difference in the electronics between the original (G1) system and the G2 system. Is this correct?

Several people have posted that the G2 works OK as long as line-of-sight is maintained, up to about 70 feet or so. But if line-of-sight is lost, then dropouts can occur. In the DV.com test above, the G1 had dropouts when under a ceiling fan, and when the signal had to pass through a residential wall.

It still concerns me that the Senn portable wireless systems do NOT have diversity NOR balanced XLR output. Some say this doesn't matter. But if it doesn't matter, why do most all other pro wireless mic systems have both of these features? And even the Senn rack-mounted receivers have diversity and XLR outputs. This all leaves me wondering...

So, I would very much appreciate it if anyone who has had dropouts with the G2 systems, or who never/seldom have had dropouts with G2 would please post your experience.

TIA.
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Old January 16th, 2005, 07:54 PM   #2
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Just a thought: have never used the EWs, but a few days ago a friend told he was ready to trash some AT wireless equipment and I suggested he let me take a look first. It turns out he had the squelch setting set to max, and setting it to the minimum got rid of the droputs. Is there a squelch setting en the G2?
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Old January 16th, 2005, 10:20 PM   #3
 
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there is indeed a squelch setting on the G2, but that didn't help me in two cities I've used it in. Washington DC is fairly known for wireless issues, but Boston isn't, and I had issues there, too. Conversely, I've had the AT7000 and the AT100 in both cities, and not experienced trouble in either city.
I dunno...I read LOTS of great reports on the Senn, but that just wasn't MY particular set of experiences. So, either everyone else is easily pleased, or I just have bad luck. Or maybe somewheres in the middle.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 08:36 AM   #4
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I had some dropouts on a G1 system until I went in and adjust the squelch and set the channels. Since I made those changes the system has worked very well. Even through walls it will get the signal through but of course it limits the range at that point. Line of sight has been solid at 250 feet.

Also, the Senn. systems do have a balanced xlr cable output with them. This helps because I have the audio tech place the reciever in a high area and then put a 10ft. xlr cable in the mix to get the signal back to the mixer clean. That ensures that the receiver has a clean line of sight to the transmitter location and it keeps the receiver away from the ac cord of the mixer.

I was frustrated with the G1 system for several months until I found the right squelch adjustment. And honestly, the documentation for using the system and how to make it work was very poor. The manual simply told us what each readout was but gave no advice on the setup. So we had to work it out and once we did the system became a solid performer.

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Old January 17th, 2005, 03:27 PM   #5
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Ben,

Thanks for the tips on fine tuning the system with the squelch.

I'm pretty sure the G1 & G2 receiver output is UNBALANCED. From the Senn spec sheet:
Quote:
Audio output level (unbalanced) +10 dBu max
I know that they include the CL-100 cable, which converts the 3.5mm Female (on the received) to a XLR-M, but I think it is still unbalanced.

Best Regards,
Pete
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Old January 17th, 2005, 10:18 PM   #6
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At +10 dBu and using battery power, it really doesn't matter much if the lines are balanced or not, especially if using short cables from the RX to the cam's input.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 01:06 PM   #7
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I shot a lot of video over the course of 4 days three weeks ago in las vegas. I have a Sony wirelss mic kit and the Senn G2 kit.

I loved the G2 kit. The sound was great, good quality, reliable. But for about 40 minutes inside a bar/casino, I would get a little drop outs, I don't know why, it would just suddenly drop out, but not in any way disctracting. Perhaps some interference with rubbing on the transmitter?

At any rate, I'll still sold on this system.

Looking to buy one.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 10:14 PM   #8
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One thought on diversity vs not concerns the broadcast 'strength' of the beltpack transmitter.

In the 'near' and sub-$1000 world of wireless portables, Lectrosonics (not diversity) puts out 100mW
Sennheiser (not diversity) 30mW
Sony UWPC1 (diversity)switchable between 5mW and 30mW,
Audio Technica ATW-T101 (diversity) averages 10mW.

So does it not look like the diversity designs are employing less 'broadcast' power and relying on the differential in antenna location to grab the best signal, while the non-diversity approach relies on sheer power to punch its way through to the receiver?

just my latest guess,
Scott
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Old January 27th, 2005, 10:40 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Scott Brickert : One thought on diversity vs not concerns the broadcast 'strength' of the beltpack transmitter.

In the 'near' and sub-$1000 world of wireless portables, Lectrosonics (not diversity) puts out 100mW
Sennheiser (not diversity) 30mW
Sony UWPC1 (diversity)switchable between 5mW and 30mW,
Audio Technica ATW-T101 (diversity) averages 10mW.

Um, I don't know where you're getting your info, but the manual for the the ATW-T101 puts it at a max of 50mW. In Japan there is a limit on ALL wireless of either 10mW or 20mW. Perhaps you were misled by that.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 28th, 2005, 11:18 AM   #10
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Isn't marketing wonderful. Yes the max output is 50mW, and if you read the manual, the typical output is 10mW. There's no discrepancy, just not the complete truth.

see: http://www.audio-technica.com/prodpro/addinfo/U100Ser_OM.pdf




Scott
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Old January 28th, 2005, 01:39 PM   #11
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I doubt Lectro has 100mW RMS. That would be illegal in the US. Even if it were peak and converted to rms that would be 70.7 rms. That's still over the US FCC limit of 50mW.

ANYWAY...Receiver sensitivity has an equal effect on range. Here's what I know. I can take the AT101 for 100 yards without breakup on a clear shot.

Problem is, there are no real standards for this measurement as it pertains to range.

Power output receiver sensitivity and deviation (modulation) all have bearing on coverage.

Also know that twice the power does NOT translate to twice the range.

Power specs alone don't tell the story. Would that they did.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 28th, 2005, 08:50 PM   #12
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I dunno 'bout the FCC rules amigo, but here's a transmitter well over 50mW.

Lectrosonics UDR-200C @ 250mW

http://www.lectrosonics.com/wireless/200/um250c.htm

Interestingly, the sub-$1000 idea falls apart, since Shure's U-1 combo sells for $1480 and output's only 10mW. As you said, it's a combination of the total package.

Scott
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Old January 29th, 2005, 12:06 AM   #13
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Initial Test of Senn EW112p-G2

Many, many thanks to all who contributed here. It is all very helpful.

Well, it seems as if there's no clear-cut answer here. IAC, I finally made a decision and took the plunge: I bought a Senn EW112p-G2 lav system. I got a great deal on this system, and since many people here and other sites have high praises for the G2, I decided to go with it.

My initial test of the G2 was very positive and reassuring! But it is only one simple test.

I performed a similar test to the one reported in DV.com audio forum -- walking around my house. The sound quality was excellent, and I did NOT experience any drop-outs over a range of 3-50 feet, including times when I was well out of line-of-sight with a brick fireplace between transmitter and receiver. Yeah!

I have to say I am very impressed with the features and UI of the G2. Here are some just to name a few:
1. The LCD display and LEDs provide immediate conformation of critical information like freq, battery strength, receipt of good signal from transmitter, etc. I can quickly glance at the receiver and verify everything is OK with both receiver and transmitter.
2. Has a SCAN feature to scan for all frequencies to ID those NOT in use in your locale.
3. Provides control/settings over squelch, sensitivity, audio-out gain.
4. Easy to use menu system.
There are many more...

The sensitivity control is very impressive. You can control how much of the ambient sounds are picked up even with an omni mic (like the M2 mic I have).

I still need to conduct more extensive tests, and tests in a more representative locale, but so far I am very impressed.

As I conduct further tests I will report here.

This is my first wireless lav system. I will eventually need 2 systems. Maybe I'll get the Audio-Technica as my next system. This way I will maximize the probability that at least one of the systems will operate properly at a given location.

Best Regards,
Pete
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Old January 29th, 2005, 07:05 AM   #14
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Practical/anecdotal reviews are often quite revealing. Nice job. Several thoughts.

The frequency scan indicates what frequencies are NOT available? Boy that's weird. Is this because it's an internationally intended unit in which some bands are not available in certain countries? (Cause that's the way frequencies are made available)

That'd make manufacturing easier -- one mic for all portions of the globe. It'd probably be a bit more expensive than regionally different units. Hmmmm.....How would it know what country it was in?

Frequency availability is a function of how many TV stations (among other things) are on the air in your area, and also how many wireless units are operating in the same area.

Many of the new wireless are coming out with "frequency agile" technology. The SHure I reviewed recently has a scan feature. You fire up each mic one at a time and as each system scans, it automatically picks an open frequency, as they remain. You DO need to buy the system for the right part of the world. I think there are 2-3 diffferent frequency blocks (and therefore 2-3 models to pick from) in the US.

There is a finite limit to how many systems can operate in a block. Careful frequency coordination must be observed. If 3-4 people show up with 3-4 wireless rigs expecting to use them all, they will likely be disappointed. Even mic systems from different manufacturers are not immune from this sort of interference.

As to mic sensitivity and ambient noise, a mic sensitivity control is like a preamp. It makes everything louder or quieter. It does not have the ability to distinguish between a voice and the ambience. If you're hearing less ambience, you're also hearing less voice.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 29th, 2005, 12:40 PM   #15
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Ty,

I'm still learning about wireless audio in general, and the Senn in specific. With regard to scanning for open or unused frequencies, let me quote from the manual, and maybe this will help clear things up.
Quote:
The channel bank system
The ew 100 G2 systems are available in five UHF frequency ranges with 1440
transmission/receiving frequencies per frequency range. Please note: Frequency
usage is different for each country. Your Sennheiser agent will have
all the necessary details on the available legal frequencies for your area:
Range A: 518 to 554 MHz
Range B: 626 to 662 MHz
Range C: 740 to 776 MHz
Range D: 786 to 822 MHz
Range E: 830 to 866 MHz

Transmitters and receivers have nine channel banks with four switchable
channels each.

The channel banks “1” to “8” have four switchable channels that are factory preset
to a transmission/receiving frequency (see enclosed frequency table).
These transmission/receiving frequencies cannot be changed but have been
preset so that e.g. country-specific regulations on frequency usage are taken
into account.

The channel bank “U” (user bank) has four switchable channels
to store your selection out of 1440 transmission/receiving frequencies that
are freely selectable within the preset frequency range.

Scanning the channel banks for free channels (receivers only)
SCAN Before putting one or several transmission links into operation, you should
scan the selected channel bank for free channels in order to ensure intermodulation-
free operation of your system.
So, it appear to me that the scanning is for free channels within the selected bank of frequencies, and thus starts with the built-in channel list for the country. In my case, I have Range A: 518 to 554 MHz. The point of all this is that if I need to shoot in a "UHF-busy" location (like hotel ballrooms), I can scan to make sure I have a frequency that no one else is using.

I understand what you are saying about mic sensitivity, but all I can tell you is by virtue of actually testing the mic, and changing the sensitivity and audio-out gain, I was able to control how much ambient sound was passed through to the camera. For example, with the sensitivity turned up, it would also pick up my breathing, footsteps, doors open/close as well as my voice. With it turned down enough, just about all you could hear was my voice. I could only hear the door if it was slammed shut.

But then I have a lot more to test and experiment with, and much to learn. So please accept my results and conclusions a very tentative.

Best Regards,
Pete
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