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Old June 10th, 2011, 08:00 PM   #1
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Cheaper VHF systems?

For the past year I've been shooting weddings with a Sony UWP-V1 wireless system and it's been working fine. However a few weeks ago it died, after a AA battery leaked acid all through the insides of it.

Right now I don't have the cash to replace the Sony (and I'm kind annoyed that the reciever alone costs almost as much as the system) so I've rented a couple of times. The rental costs are going to add up quickly at this rate (about $150 per weekeend wedding) and are actually stopping me from saving up for new system faster.

I'm wondering if any of the cheaper VHF Wireless systems are worth a look? My idea is that for $200 (a little more than 1 jobs rental) I can have a cheap system that might just get the job done for a few weeks/months. The $150 rental costs I save per wedding will go straight towards buying a new Sony or perhaps Sennheiser system asap.

The two I am looking at specifically are the Azden WLX-Pro and the Audio-Technica 88W. Does anybody have any experience with either of these systems? Are they usable or are they complete garbage? What are the dissadvantages of VHF vs UHF? Other than being limited to 2 channels, what else are these systems lacking?

Thanks in advance.
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Old June 10th, 2011, 09:42 PM   #2
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Re: Cheaper VHF systems?

Murphy's Law lives inside cheap wireless.

In my experience, wireless in that price range is worse than horrible. Mainly as it can occasionally work, but is so unreliable and inconsistent I would never risk it on a job at any level.
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Old June 11th, 2011, 01:55 AM   #3
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Re: Cheaper VHF systems?

For weddings, you don't have second chances. As you found out, that Sony you had was great for weddings! I say bite the bullet and replace it. Do not go cheap, it will cost you way more money and a bad reputation when you end up reimbursing you next client due to bad audio.
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Old June 11th, 2011, 02:08 AM   #4
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Re: Cheaper VHF systems?

Hey John

I still have 2 VHF systems as spares and they work well over here!! eBay has 'em for $150.00 and they certainly never let me down!! All my systems are Azden...my main system is a dual channel 370ULT receiver with 2 transmitters but those are more pricey (around $1200!!) I also use a 100ult UHF system for my property shoots and it also has been really good!! I use the 100ULT often as a 3rd mic in Church weddings and it performs perfectly with no drop outs.

Just be VERY care not to buy the sub $100 systems from China...they are awful!!!!! Stick to a well known brand!!

Pity you didn't post a week ago!! I have just sold 2 x VHF receivers and one body pack PLUS a handheld mic (all Azden) on eBay for $103.00!!!! I ended up with too many systems so they had to go!!!

BTW: You can get the single channel UHF Azdens from GlobalMedia for around $300 too...they perform very well!!!

Chris
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Old June 11th, 2011, 04:29 AM   #5
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Re: Cheaper VHF systems?

Thanks Chris, I had a look at the Global Media Pro Site and the prices there are much cheaper than anywhere in Australia. The Sony and Sennheiser are both available for $500-600 as opposed to about $800 at other places, and at that price I might just bite the bullet and get the good ones.

I might even get one from B & H, which are cheaper again, even despite the stronger Aussie dollar.
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Old June 11th, 2011, 06:39 AM   #6
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Re: Cheaper VHF systems?

Great John

Just be careful with USA shipping prices..their actual unit prices are incredible but often spoilt by over-zealous shippers!!!
I wanted a mini-ballhead from the US..a bargain for US$7.95..however the best shipping to Perth was a massive $47.00!!!

GMP are pretty quick on delivery too!! 2 to 3 days tops and it's on your doorstep!! Both Sony and Senneiser are great but I still prefer my Azdens ..better price and awesome performance!!!

Chris
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Old June 11th, 2011, 06:50 AM   #7
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Re: Cheaper VHF systems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
For the past year I've been shooting weddings with a Sony UWP-V1 wireless system and it's been working fine. However a few weeks ago it died, after a AA battery leaked acid all through the insides of it.

Right now I don't have the cash to replace the Sony (and I'm kind annoyed that the reciever alone costs almost as much as the system) so I've rented a couple of times. The rental costs are going to add up quickly at this rate (about $150 per weekeend wedding) and are actually stopping me from saving up for new system faster.

I'm wondering if any of the cheaper VHF Wireless systems are worth a look? My idea is that for $200 (a little more than 1 jobs rental) I can have a cheap system that might just get the job done for a few weeks/months. The $150 rental costs I save per wedding will go straight towards buying a new Sony or perhaps Sennheiser system asap.

The two I am looking at specifically are the Azden WLX-Pro and the Audio-Technica 88W. Does anybody have any experience with either of these systems? Are they usable or are they complete garbage? What are the dissadvantages of VHF vs UHF? Other than being limited to 2 channels, what else are these systems lacking?

Thanks in advance.
At one time VHF used to be cheap - now it's expensive.

Also, VHF systems are much more prone to picking up digital interference from computers, etc.

UHF systems used to be much more expensive; however, as they share ;ots of components with mobile phones, the price has plummeted over recent years.

Personally I would not purchase a VHF system nowadays.
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Old June 12th, 2011, 04:12 AM   #8
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Re: Cheaper VHF systems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
However a few weeks ago it died, after a AA battery leaked acid all through the insides of it.
Out of curiosity, were your batteries alkalines? Or rechargeables? I use Engergizer rechargeables (silver with green stripe), 2300mAh from Sam's Club. With it, I can get over 11 hours of run time on the Sonys. I recharge them after every gig. Check em out, Energizer rechargeables work really great with Sony.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 04:33 AM   #9
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Re: Cheaper VHF systems?

Warren, they were alkalines.

I do use Energizer rechargeables with my other more draining devices such as my Pentax K-X and Sigma flash. I also use the super-fast charger which charges a set of 4 AA's in about an hour (compared to 6-8 hours with the regular charger). I wish I had got into the habit of using them with my wireless so I wouldn't be in the position I'm in now!
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