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Old September 18th, 2010, 05:32 PM   #1
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best wireless...

Once I owned a Lectrosonic complete with XLR-output but I wasn't that impressed considering what I paid for it.
Is there a wireless mic/receiver combo that's become an industry favorite, that isn't necessarily the most expensive and finally, is lightweight and works well with a mini-plug system? I'm looking for something to go with the new Sony VG-10 that could clamp on the camera and not be bulky and heavy.
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Old September 18th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #2
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Search this forum! The general consensus here is, for a 'low budget' system, the Sennheiser G2/3s are favored ... however they don't compare to the high-end Lectros, Zaxcoms and Audio LTDs., which cost 3x as much. You get what you pay for.
As for your old Lectro not working..., that.s rare. Probable fixed frequency model and nearby RF issues. I still have some old 185s and 195s, they always worked OK, In fact, better than ever since the HDTV switchover in my neck of the woods.
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Old September 18th, 2010, 09:03 PM   #3
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I think it was the 195 Lectro I had but it got interference just like the others. Built like a tank for sure, but I wasn't impressed and it used the awkward 9 volt battery.
I have heard good things about the Sennheiser. I have an old ME80 mic that's worked well for, let's see, 25 years now!
Thanks for the info.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #4
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Personally, I like 9-Volt batteries, particularly the rechargeable Li-Ion variety, which save huge dollars over time. They hold a lot more juice than AAs, which always tend to roll around on me when I put them down on a flat surface.

The Lectro SM series packs are about the smallest in the biz, rugged, and they take AA batteries. Sounds like what you're looking for.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 10:00 AM   #5
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I used to have both the Sennheiser G2 units and the Lectro 195. While the Sennheiser is a very good value, and I have used them countless times on national programs, the sound quality of the Lectro blows the Senny away every time. I used Tram mics on both,so that was not the difference. I never had any interference issues. Maybe just lucky, or lucky that I live in an area where interference is not as bad an issue as in LA or NYC. I used it all over the western part of Oregon with no problems.

As always YMMV. Have fun!

Rob
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Old September 21st, 2010, 11:05 AM   #6
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Are you suggesting that the Sennys have some sort of filter in place or some sort of frequency limitation? Why would they do that? If you used the same mic in both situations, that would seem like the inevitable conclusion!
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 10:04 AM   #7
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Lynne,

I don't have the technical knowledge to know exactly all the reasons why the Lectros sound better, but I believe there's a very good reason why the Sennheisers cost $500 and the Lectros were $1500 or more. Higher level components, better engineering, more sophisticated noise reduction and processing, better algorithm for the wireless hop maybe? - I'm sure there's lots of other reasons. The Sennheisers are very good for the money, but for more money you can get a better product.

Have fun!

Rob
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 07:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rob Neidig View Post
Lynne,

I don't have the technical knowledge to know exactly all the reasons why the Lectros sound better, but I believe there's a very good reason why the Sennheisers cost $500 and the Lectros were $1500 or more. Higher level components, better engineering, more sophisticated noise reduction and processing, better algorithm for the wireless hop maybe? - I'm sure there's lots of other reasons. The Sennheisers are very good for the money, but for more money you can get a better product.
Sennheiser do much better radio than the G2/G3.

The 3000 series and 5000 series are much better - and much more expensive (even than the Lectro).

They do different ranges at different price points - and the 3000 and 5000 series have different noise reduction.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #9
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Keep in mind that receiver antenna design and placement will have a major effect on any system's performance.

On my diversity setup I've used slightly larger whips that provided a bit more gain. With a little elevation, reliable range was as much as 100 yards without any dropouts. Max range was farther but not without dropouts.

There is an antenna that looks like a Christmas tree which is supposed to provide even greater range, but it's directional.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 03:47 PM   #10
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Oops. Double post.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #11
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Well, anything's got to be better than the wireless I'm presently using! It's the bluetooth mic that come with the Sony HC-3 camcorder. That mic definitely cuts off the lower frequencies. Not quite as bad as telephone quality but close!
So I suppose I've been spoiled by the clean sounding Lectrosonics. But they dropped out like any other system. I really want to believe that the Sennheisers will at least "sound" normal and not too brassy or trebly. Drop-outs I figure come with the territory. Harsh-sounding systems I can do without.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 05:03 PM   #12
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Lynne...

Diversity systems (ones that use a pair of antennas to ensure good reception) can nearly eliminate signal loss problems.

The diversity system I use (an ATW-1800), has been the next best thing to a wired mic. In normal working ranges of 50 feet or less dropouts are just about non-existent. If the signal starts to get weak on one antenna, it instantly switches to the stronger signal on the other antenna.

This eliminates "multipath" problems where a reflecting signal creates dead spots when it cancels itself out. Or conditions in which a signal might be weaker in one spot than another, or even issues of polarization orientation.

There is the occasional situation in which there might be interference or other RF noise. But that's a hazard with any radio-based system.

The units I have can scan for clean frequencies, and that's a big help in avoiding interference.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 05:11 PM   #13
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The Sennheiser G2 system is quite good. I don't have dropout problems but I tend to have the mic within 20 to 30 feet of the camera/steadicam. The important thing is to use a decent mic. The stock lav is very clinical sounding and lacking in warmth and character. I would replace it with a Sanken COS-11D or a TRAM. Both are available with the lockable 1/8" connector from B&H and other emporiums. In fact you can get the G2 system with a TRAM from B&H. If you are going to get the plug transmitter that goes into the XLR end of a handheld mic, you should know the standard one does NOT provide phantom power. The phantom powered transmitter is around 1000 bucks but allows you to run decent powered condenser/hypercardoid and ribbon mics. Both the TRAM and the Sanken are considered broadcast quality mics and are used by many national news/broadcast outlets.
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Old September 25th, 2010, 09:24 AM   #14
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The Sennheiser G2 system is quite good.
The G2 system was discontinued early last year - about 18 months ago.

The new G3 system which replaced it now has a diversity pocket/camera receiver (the second antenna is actually the output cable).

Sound will be better if you use a better mic. than the supplied ME 2 or ME 4 - The MKE 2-ew is a good one - but you pay for it.
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Old September 25th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #15
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Light at the end of the tunnel...

Now I'm getting encouraged. The E-3s sound like they're pretty decent in terms of build. I can live with buying a better mic. I like the fact that the Sennys allow you to add a different type of mic. That seems to be the general pattern of manufacturers anyway...the included mic is not that good as they put most of their R & D into the receiver/transmitter combo.
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