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Old October 6th, 2009, 09:36 AM   #1
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Sennheiser G2/G3 or Audio-Technica ATW-182X

I am currently doing a small research on wireless microphones. I am currently using two wired Rode NTG-2 and Rode NT-3 microphone. I really like them. I recently used a borrowed Sennheiser G2 system and I really liked it. So I want one myself.

I do have some questions though:

- I can buy a Sennheiser G2 receiver/transmitter/microphone combination for 285 pounds or with an extra butt-plug for 395 pounds.
- I can also buy a G3 system. What are the advantages?
- How often do you guys shoot with 2 wireless microphones and in which situations? When you shoot dual wireless, how do you record proper roomtone? Do the lavaliers record that properly? Last time, I shot with the Rode NTG-2 and a G2 and that worked great. But if you add another G2, you lose the extra XLR input/audio channel.
- What are the differences between the G2 and ATW-182X? How good are the Audio-Technica lavaliers that are included with their packages compared to the ME-2? The ATW-182X are like 800 - 900 pounds with either two transmitters or one transmitter and butt-plug both with a dual channel wireless receiver.

I like the fact that Audio-Technica has a dual receiver in one unit. But I am not sure how often I would use two wireless microphones.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 11:22 AM   #2
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The dual receiver on the AT is a major selling point for me. I use two transmitters a lot, and sometimes having the ability to mix two down to one in the receiver is a big advantage, especially when going straight to camera and bypassing the mixer. There seems to be a lot of debate over which sounds better, the AT or the Sennheiser, with consensus seeming to build that the Sennheiser has the edge. I've used both and they seem about the same to me.

The diversity on the AT and dual receiver was the tipping point for me, and I'm happy having chosen the AT. I would say that it is much more reliable than the G2, but with the new G3, who knows, maybe Sennheiser has finally caught up. I would say that the transmitters and receivers on the Sennheiser are really nice, much smaller and with a more professional feel than the AT. The stock lavs on both systems are worthless and need to be replaced, although you can buy the AT with AT899 lavs from the getgo, but it costs more obviously.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 12:36 AM   #3
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I've been using the ATW-1800 system for a few years now and haven't experienced too much trouble. Audio quality is good. And they're generally reliable.

I've had interference when I couldn't easily change frequencies -- we were standing in waist-deep water already and I didn't have an assistant available to hang onto the camera.

Another time, however, I was working with another audio guy who already had four wireless systems deployed, and I wanted to run three. Wasn't much of a problem to get the ATW-1800s to scan for clean frequencies.

I run up to four wireless units simultaneously and get good, consistent audio. For me it's the next best thing to using hard-wired mics. Almost no dropouts at normal working ranges.

You do have to set them up carefully, however. Most of my problems have come when I didn't properly set transmitter gain, output levels, etc.

For times when I'm using the system at slightly greater distances, I use a larger antenna: 962500160, ANT. D BAND. With this antenna, I picked up a good signal at up to 200 yards, line of sight, with the transmitter set at "high". I wasn't recording at the time. One of the people in the group wandered off to fish farther down the shoreline and I was surprised I could still hear him clearly.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt View Post
The dual receiver on the AT is a major selling point for me. I use two transmitters a lot, and sometimes having the ability to mix two down to one in the receiver is a big advantage, especially when going straight to camera and bypassing the mixer. There seems to be a lot of debate over which sounds better, the AT or the Sennheiser, with consensus seeming to build that the Sennheiser has the edge. I've used both and they seem about the same to me.
In what kind of situations do you use two transmitters?
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Old October 13th, 2009, 08:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt View Post
The stock lavs on both systems are worthless and need to be replaced, although you can buy the AT with AT899 lavs from the getgo, but it costs more obviously.
The prices listed above are with 2 x AT899CW Lavalier Microphones? Are these good quality microphones or do I still need to buy better one? If those are the high quality ones, the prices differences is minimal.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 10:22 AM   #6
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The AT899 is a nice sounding mic. A little more prone to cable noise than a Tram or Sanken if I recall correctly.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 10:41 AM   #7
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Last time I hired a Sennheiser system it came with a Sanken microphone. I absolutely loved the sound of that microphone. Don't remember which one. I think it was the COS-11D.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #8
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I've been using the AT1821 duual receiver with COuntryman EMW mics and couldn't be happier. The ability to go to seperate channels OR to mix at the receiver and go to 1 channel AND to be able to adjust the gain on the receiver on the fly is great. Plus it's 1 unit which makes things easier when shooting. One receiver to mount. Years ago I was having to mount 2 receivers and even on a full size camera it was a pain and it was a heavy setup.

Honestly I've never used the stock AT mics but I've heard they aren't bad.

When do I use 2 transmitters? Every wedding ceremony I do! One on the groom and 1 on the lectern. I then use the plugin transmitter at the reception on my Sennheiser E604 drum mic.

I've done talking heads where 2 mics is the minimum needed, so the ability to run 2 mics and make adjustments on the fly is great when you don't have a sound person or aren't using a mixer.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #9
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I wouldn't say the stock mics are totally worthless. They do capture sound... :-)

The AT899CW mics sound quite good, especially considering they're around $170. They're not as small as the Countryman B6, but they're more than $100 less than the B6. And the audio quality is about on par with the Countryman B3.

The Countryman EMW is just a few dollars more than the AT899CW and probably has less clothing noise, but I've never tested and compared the two. And if you do get the EMW, you'll have to wire a connector yourself.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #10
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Actuallt you can get the EMWs with the proper connector for the AT bodypak. I didn't see them at B&H so I got them at Full Compass dot com. Actually I got the unit(s) there as well. Competitive pricing and very good service.
Anyway I just tried the stock mics that came with the unit as I had never even taken them out of the packaging and Dean I have to say they do capture sound ;-)

Actually if you need a mic that will capture everything within a 20 foot radius and don't care about the quality I guess they'd do the job.

I wanted the B3 or B6 but honestly money was short so I got the EMWs and have been very happy with them. Man I do love those vampire clips!
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Old October 13th, 2009, 03:22 PM   #11
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Can you tell me something about the build quality of the ATW-18XX? Are they as sturdy as the Sennheiser G2/G3 system? Metal? And how do they compare in size? Finally, how can you mount the receiver on your camera? I have a Canon XL-H1 with Anton Bauer mount.

Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it. Sorry for all the questions. With investments like this, I try to do it the right way. I like the Sennheiser but I also like the idea of having one receiver instead of two. Saves weight and room on my camera.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 03:41 PM   #12
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in the 2 years I've been using the AT it's held up great. While I try not to abuse my gear stuff happens and the bodypaks while made of plastic have held up quite well. No damage except maybe a little scratch or 2. The receiver is also a plastic material but comes with a pouch with a belt clip so it always travels in that to help keep it snug,warm and safe.

If you're using AB batteries you can get a mounting plate and receiver cup to hold the receiver on the camera. The plate is AB the cup is made by BEC group. I've used their stuff for a long time on my fullsize cameras and it's tough stuff. Keep in mind the receiver will make the camera pretty back heavy.

For the smaller cameras I keep the receiver on my belt with the pouch and use 4 ft. XLR cables to the camera. On the tripod I have a small bracket I made and hook the receiver in the pouch to that. No extra cables needed.

Be Aware!!!!! The receiver uses mini XLRs input to the receiver with standard 3 pin XLR connections to camera, mixer or whatever. The cables are about 18 inches long so if you set the receiver any further than that from the camera you'll need an extention cable.
You can probably get cables made with the mini connectors in whatever lenght you need. Also the cable is rather thin not the thicker cable you might be used to in XLR cables however, I'm still using the original cables without problem. They are actually pretty strong.
HTHs
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 06:51 AM   #13
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Don,

When you mix two channels to one channel via the receiver, can you control the audio levels for each channel/microphone on the receiver?
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 06:59 AM   #14
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yes you can.

Regards,

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Old May 5th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #15
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I ultimately decided to buy the Audio-Technica ATW-1821 wireless system. I ordered a Band F version as that band is completely free in The Netherlands and Belgium. I am going to start with the AT-899cw lavaliers that come with the system and will probably update to Sanken COS-11D sometime in the future.

I want to thank everyone for their opinions and advice. Highly appreciated!
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