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Old December 3rd, 2009, 10:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Taylor View Post
Yes.

It's a shame Sony don't seem to put the PDF online because they aid in pre-purchase decisions but I can send it to you if you like. It's 3.78 MB.

While I like the idea of buying the Audio-Technica model (and am a big fan of their mics), their receiver is pretty large and takes 4xAA (or 6x AA for their dual channel) versus 2xAA on the Sony, which is much smaller and lighter (if that matters to you, since the receiver doesn't have to be tiny, I guess).

That said, one complaint against the Sony is the antennas cannot be removed, and if you want two mics per receiver, the more expensive Audio Technica models seem like the best bang-for-buck (or at least the most convenient not having to have two receivers) and most people seem pleased with them.

I wasn't prepared to fork out that much money just yet so I am sticking to the single mic/ channel Sony system (though, the thought of expanding means two receivers, one hanging off the camera and only one fitting on the camera's shoe mount, which is a bit messy compared to just one).

I am unsure of the advantages or disadvantages of their mic connections. The Audio-Technica uses Mini-XLR while the Sony uses standard 3.5mm mini-plug connections (just like most portable headphones) - except with a screw mount for fastening it down so it can't be unplugged.

I'm not sure how limiting (or otherwise) this is if you want to get another lavalier mic plugged in the Sony (to be honest, I haven't looked into it but probably should have).
Hi Bruce,

Well, thank you for the info; I really appreciate it. I believe I am going to get the AT 1821. But I do appreciate this info, since I will still consider this Sony for the future (I love Sony stuff).

Have a nice week!!

Ben Tolosa
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 10:40 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
While the bodypaks are plastic it is not a flimsy type of thin plastic. Mine have taken a beating and work just fine. The receiver is also a very strong plastic and again it has been knocked around and is just fine.

The batteries are in fact AA size. Not quite sure where you got the idea it wasn't AAs but it is.

6 in the receiver and 2 per transmitter.
The receiver uses a TA3F connection (the supplied cables are 18" long-TA3F to XLRM) the mic connection is Hirose 4 pin-very secure and very strong.
Don,

Thanks again for more input. About the batteries not being AA size: it is 100% my fault, I mistakenly thought otherwise. The description is just right at B&H. My fault.

2 questions to you: Let's say I am using 2 wireless microphones. My HMC-150 has 2 XLR female input connectors.
1) Does the dual receiver connects to both XLR female connectors on my camera? Or just to one?
2) Can I record the sound on those 2 separate channels from the receiver into those 2 XLR on my camera? If so: Can I also record both microphones into only one channel/line on my camera using only 1 XLR?

Thank you Don very much!!

Peace,
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 10:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post
Ben...

Both mics perform about the same. The B3 is just slightly smaller than the 899CW but either one is concealed easily. I've read that the EMW is better if used beneath clothing but I've never tested it.

As mentioned earlier, the plastic is tough. There is a huge variety of plastics available, and the notion that plastic isn't as tough as metal is becoming an outdated notion. Depending on the application, plastics can be preferred to metal as they can spring back from a level of deformation which would permanently dent metal.

They can also resist corrosion far better than any metal.

I remember when Canon and Nikon SLRs went from brass bodies to plastic. And news photographers wondered if they'd be able to tolerate hard daily use. But they fared as well as any of the older brass-bodied cameras.

The receiver on the ATW-1800 is aluminum. But the bodypacks are a tough plastic that are very durable. The only damage ever done was when a fisherman unintentionally leaned against a railing and put a small crack in the clear window over the LCD readout. But even that didn't take the unit out of action.

When I sent the unit in for routine servicing, AT replaced the window without me even asking.

Another advantage of the ATW-1800 is the BNC antenna connectors on the receiver. It allows me to have a separate antenna mast, with coaxial cable to position the antennas out in the clear while keeping the receivers themselves in a protected case. Some wireless units can't do this since their antennas are permanently connected to the receivers.

The batteries used by both the transmitters and receivers are AA. I'm using rechargeables NiMH batteries from Thomas Distributors. These batteries have much better storage life than older NiMH batteries, with a lot less self-discharge over time.
MAHA IMEDION AA 2100 mAh Ultra Low Discharge 4 Battery Pack

The charger is a "smart" charger that monitors individual batteries so that none are overcharged:

MAHA MH-C801D AA - AAA Battery ChargerDELUXE 8 Cell Professi..
Thanks Dean for this info. As of today, I am going to get the AT-1821 that B&H has.

Thanks very much for all this input!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floris van Eck View Post
Ben, I haven't made my mind up just yet.

It will be either a G2 or a AT182X system. The G3 is improved but I have spoken with so many people that are using the G2 and none of them have real problems with frequencies. So I don't want to spend another EURO 150 / 200 DOLLAR on the G3 over the G2.

For me it comes down to having one or two receivers. At this moment, I only need one transmitter so Sennheiser would be cheaper. I could easily add a second unit later. With AT, I will have to buy the set from the beginning which makes it more expensive as an initial investment. But in the long term, I think having one receiver is more practical. I also read very good things about the AT system here. And they are diversity.

How does the 899 mic compare with the MKE-2 (Sennheiser G2/G3 stock mic)?
Good evening Floris,

I think I have decided (as of today) to go with the AT-1821. I am not sure 100% which mic to get just yet. I like how the B3 looks like but I might just go with the 899 since it is also AT (same brand as the wireless system I am getting). But again, I haven't decide just yet. If I get a better review on the B3, I will probably go with it. But for what I am reading here, it is pretty much the same mic.

Thanks for you input, we are both learning ^_^

Peace,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
There's pros and cons on both systems. Read all the posts on them. Only you can decide what's best for your particular applications.

The AT899 is a much better mic than the MK2... Used on either system. I assume your referring to the MK-2 and not the MKE-2 which is better than the 899 IMO. (About twice the price too)
Hi Rick,

Thank your for the info. A question:

And what about the difference between the B3 and the 899?

Thanks again!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole Hankerson View Post
@Ben Tolosa-I recommend if possible to rent the gear or find a place or someone who owns the wireless mics you are interested in to get the feel for yourself. I have been going to the rental house lately to test out equipment I'm interested in. Its nothing worser than buying something and its not what you where looking for. Might want to consider that.


Nicole
Nicole,

I live in rural VT, and not much going on around here in terms of filmmaking :(

So it'll be a tough task to find someone into this craft around here. But, I appreciate the thought, I will try to find a rental place around. I've been here for almost 6 years now and I've never heard of one.

Have a nice weekend!!
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Old December 4th, 2009, 03:39 AM   #19
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I think I have decided (as of today) to go with the AT-1821.
I also kinda made that decision. I think it is the most practical. It comes with good microphones and I really like having one receiver on which I can mix down two channels to one XLR channel and have the other one free for room noise/accoustics.

Although the Sennheiser G2 is a very good deal now, I will have to buy better microphones which will make it equally or slightly more expensive than the Sennheiser G2. And the AT is diversity while the Sennheiser G2 is not.

Because of fiscal reasons, I am buying 1-1-2010.

Let me know how it works for you once you get it.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 06:48 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ben Tolosa View Post
2 questions to you: Let's say I am using 2 wireless microphones. My HMC-150 has 2 XLR female input connectors.
1) Does the dual receiver connects to both XLR female connectors on my camera? Or just to one?
2) Can I record the sound on those 2 separate channels from the receiver into those 2 XLR on my camera? If so: Can I also record both microphones into only one channel/line on my camera using only 1 XLR?

OK, easy answer. You can pretty much do anything you want with the 1821 receiver. You have 2 audio outputs on the receiver so you run run 2 XLRs out to 2 XLRs in on the camera and set the camera to record to 2 different channels of course. OR you can look at the bottom of the receiver and there are switches which allow you to MIX the 2 microphone inputs into 1 output channel which of course means one XLR cable out to camera inputting to 1 XLR input whichever you choose channel 1 or channel 2, your choice.
It comes with a thin but easy to read manual that pretty well explains how to run single channels with 1 or 2 mics and how to mix 2 channels on the receiver.
Here are a couple things to keep in mind though. First, on the receiver there are 2 small "knobs" that allow you to adjust the input levels on the fly. They are a bit hard to get to especially if the receiver is in the pouch even though it is open on the bottom.
Also remember if using only 1 mic you don't want it to be the 2nd side of the receiver since it will use more battery power. When I only use 1 mic the receiver is set to run just on the one side so it does save a bit of power not that its a power hog anyway.
Just an FYI, I use 1 set of batteries in the receiver for an entire wedding meaning ceremony and reception. The only time I turn it off is when driving from 1 location to another, once at the reception it goes on and stays on for a number of hours and wile it may not be "receiving at the moment like during dinner, it is still on. Probably about 5 hours plus the ceremony another hour and a half.
So there you go, good battery life, good sound (replace those stock mics) good range, solid build (don't worry about the plastic) easy to use and lots of choices off how to use it.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 07:33 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Floris van Eck View Post
And the AT is diversity while the Sennheiser G2 is not.
But the new G3 *is* diversity.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 07:55 AM   #22
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John, you are right.

But a dual G3 system is just as expensive in Europe than a AT 1821 kit. Given that I hear from many people that the 899 is a better microphone, and you get a dual channel receiver, I think I am going to buy a AT 1821 kit.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 09:08 AM   #23
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The G3 uses one of the output cables as a receiver antenna. At least that's what I read.

Don't know why they did that since it's always better to have an aerial out in the open whenever possible.

The ATW-1800 can also connect to a different antenna is necessary. AT has a larger antenna available that provides better performance if needed: 962500160 ANT. D BAND. I use these whenever I shoot in situations where the transmitters are going to be scattered or at greater than normal distances.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 02:15 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post
The G3 uses one of the output cables as a receiver antenna. At least that's what I read.
Yes - it's true.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post
Don't know why they did that since it's always better to have an aerial out in the open whenever possible.
It's simple - the output cable *is* out in the open.

Also, it will be orientated in a totally different direction from the antenna on the top - this will make it far more effective as a diversity system than two antennas close together on the top.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 07:31 PM   #25
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I also read somewhere that there's a minimum or optimum distance between two antennas for best results with diversity systems. It's based on wavelength of the signal being received. If I can find it I'll post it here.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 01:34 PM   #26
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I used to use Sennheiser G2 units but still had drop outs. Now I only use Lectrosonics, a LMa and a UCR021 Diversity set (block 25). I purchased them from a dealer used. The quality is like comparing a Seiko to a Rolex, both are watches on is just better.

I also use Trams and Countryman for the Lectrosonics.

With all of the wireless brands on the market why do most all of the Film location sound mixers prefer Lectrosonics to any other.

Most film directors I have been told will not let you on the set if you attempt to use a less costly wirless mic.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 01:44 PM   #27
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Mark, they use them becaue they are condsidered "industry standard" and are in fact without question one of 2 top quality brands, and having used them in the past (the older 100 series) they produce top notch sound. Having said that, keep in mind there is also a cost factor for many of in the business and while I would have loved to have gotten a couple of the Lectro 400 series receivers and 200 transmitters as well as a plugin, I could not afford the approximately $5000 to purchase the gear so I opted for what I considered to be the next best thing in the price range I COULD afford. While it isn't Lectro it does produce audio that is quite good and for the work I do it works outs extremely well and gives me all the good quality sound I need to produce the weddings and other live event I do.
If all I was doing was audio I'm sure I would have gone the Lectro route but because I also have to continually purchase other gear, like cameras on a fairly regular basis I made my choice and yes a lot of it was based on budget. I think we all pretty much di the same thing. Buy the best we can with the budget we have and work with what we have.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 01:48 PM   #28
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Lectrosonics' reputation for reliability is probably why some directors might insist on their use. They can't afford to have mic problems disturb the production workflow and don't want to take the risk of something without a proven track record.

They're also very ruggedly built.

The reason so many others don't buy Lectrosonic systems is because of cost. They're about three times more than some other units which have equivalent performance.

The AT systems I've been using haven't had dropouts. I did have one unit start to get noisy and had to send it in for service. Sounded like a bad audio connection somewhere (crunching noises) that I couldn't track down on my own, and it was intermittent.

Otherwise, performance has been excellent. I've been using them ever since they first came out a few years ago.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #29
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Dean, Some of us don't have the opportunity to live in Hawaii where you are isolated by the island. I live in Seattle where everyone has a cell phone, wifi, and 16 channels broadcasting Digital TV all causing RF interference. I agree that Lectrosonics are pricey but I would rather buy a used Lectro unit than a new Sennheiser. Everything in my audio kit is top of the line and all purchased used. If I could not afford a a Lectrosonic I would rent one before gambling on another brand (and yes I have tried Sennheisers and AT Systems here in the city) If you live in and plan on shooting in a city enviroment then you need the best.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 03:08 PM   #30
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Mark, I believe you that the Letro's are great.

But like Dean and Don mentioned, they are very expensive. Expensive does not necessarily equal higher quality. Some of my friends are using G2's and never have any real problems. They don't live in New York or Los Angeles. Everything is relative.

I think Letro has luck they are considered an industry standard, but that doesn't mean their product is better. Avid was also a 90% industry standard and while that might still hold true in big budget productions / production facilitities, in the more price sensitive indie and mid/low budget segment they have lost a lot of ground to Final Cut over the years.

There is a price/quality balance and I am not sure if Letro's are worth 5x more than let's say Audio Technica microphones. I can't afford them. I would probably also buy them when I was an audio technician. But if I really need the highest quality, I would rather hire a good audio technician. Expensive tools are worth nothing if you don't understand them.
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