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Old November 9th, 2012, 12:48 PM   #1
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Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

So I've been using my Sennheiser G3 kit for awhile now, with decent results on my Zoom H4N. I've been testing the Marantz PMD661 lately, and it has much much better preamps than the H4N. Using a Dynamic mic, there is absolutely no hiss at -12db.

However, when hooking up the Sennheiser G3 kit to the Marantz, it seems like i'm getting more noise than usual, and I think it has something to do with the AF out/sensitivity settings of the G3. It's my belief that the G3 is generating noise from those units, and the Marantz is picking it up, possibly more so than the Zoom did.

Is there a generally recommended system of setting up the G3 with the proper level settings?

Thank you,
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Old November 9th, 2012, 01:48 PM   #2
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

This has been discussed at length, search this forum...

That said, the H4N does have rather noisy pre amps, but with a properly gain staged G2/3 it should be at least usable. Normally I set the G2/3 100 series portable receiver's AF output @ -12 or -18dB into a mic level input.. however the transmitters sensitivity must be set optimally, which depends on the mic and sound source. You may also try using the H4Ns line level input, but as I recall, you would need an unbalanced 1/4 inch plug or adapter.. in that case, the receiver's AF out setting must be set to the maximum output level.. or close to it.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

I did read that post, and searched on this one. But still, did not achieve optimal results from my findings. Was hoping to find something else.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 04:24 PM   #4
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

Paul - My plans include adding to my audio toolbox collection and I've been picking up on information about a wireless setup of some kind like the Sennheiser G3 and the Tascam H4n items. I read your comment "That said, the H4N does have rather noisy pre amps" and it was my impression that it was fairly good in the noise department. Or could this be true compared to the competition at it's price point?
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Old November 9th, 2012, 05:33 PM   #5
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

"Tascam H4n"
John, I'm sure you mean Zoom H4n
.. Though neither the Zoom or competitively priced Tascam models have pristine preamps.
Either way a properly set-up G2/3 should be acceptable.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 08:27 PM   #6
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

Rick: Ooops! You're so right, I really meant the Tascam DR-40 was the one I've been kinda targeting. This has been and on-again and off-again effort and for the past several weeks it has been "off" as other more pressing things have risen above the shopping effort. Currently choosing something is a low-priority effort but if I see something for sale at a good price I'd like to know everything about it then jump on it.

So the DR-40 isn't as "quiet" as it could be? Bummer. I'll have to figure out what spec figures a person should be looking at for noise.

Thanks for bring this to my attention.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 12:54 AM   #7
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

The noise from the preamps in any halfway decent recorder should be much less than the noise from the wireless transmission if you have your gain settings correct. I get good recordings with a $100 DR-05 fed with a g3 receiver at AF Out 0.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #8
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
So the DR-40 isn't as "quiet" as it could be? Bummer. I'll have to figure out what spec figures a person should be looking at for noise.
Unfortunately spec figures don't tell the whole story of a mic, recorder or preamp. In some instances, the 'test' parameters are tweaked to yield more attractive specs. It's usualy the overall 'sound' of a device. For instance, the specs on a Neumann U-47 do not appear to be very good.
The DR-40 and 100mkII are nice machines, I have a DR40 that gets used occasionally and for back-up... with a good front-end (SD pre-amps, via line-in) I can not hear any discernible difference from my 744, all external input parameters being equal.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 12:56 PM   #9
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

From Rick: "Unfortunately spec figures don't tell the whole story of a mic, recorder or preamp."
Reply: this is good to know. Also, if there is no industry standard for performance specs they'll do what ever they can to make their product look good.

Currently I've got three XLR mics but I'm looking for at least one more wired mic, plus a wireless and plus a recording mic - or - a recorder that can be used with a mic. Audio is like the mechanics tool box, sometimes you need a socket, a box wrench, or maybe an open-end wrench because one size doesn't fit all. Oh, and then there are Vice-Grips.

Anyway, getting back to Paul's post #3, since the Sennheiser G3 is something that I've been looking at I'm interested in I'd like to know what anyone has to say about his issue:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Hildebrandt View Post
I did read that post, and searched on this one. But still, did not achieve optimal results from my findings. Was hoping to find something else.
One nagging thought I always have with regard to anything with a good reputation is "is it counterfeit"? The Chinese are really trying to ruin the reputation of quality western companies by manufacturing counterfeit knock-offs then polluting the market with them. Sennheiser and Shure are two popular brands that they've targeted. So a question might be, could the noise issue be related to a counterfeit product?

How can one tell if their G3 100 is counterfeit? These are just my thoughts.

Otherwise, I'm interested in what anyone has to say about Paul's noise problem.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

I bought my G3 from Amazon directly, fully packaged, all the accessories, very high build quality. It's definitely legit.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 09:27 AM   #11
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

There were photos and info on how to ID a G2/3 counterfeit, can't recall where that info is, The differences are difficult to spot, but if one know what to look for.... though I'm not suggesting Paul has a counterfeit, and still suspect it's a gain staging issue.. or possibly a faulty unit.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 01:34 PM   #12
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

eBay seems to have some info

eBay Guides - Fake Sennheiser 135 G2 wireless Handheld from China
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Old November 11th, 2012, 09:56 PM   #13
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

Sennheiser web site: Sennheiser USA - Counterfeit Alert

Paul - The next thing that comes to my mind are the cables. Every cable has an impedence, a combination of resistance and capacitance. Inputs are designed around certain impedences. Just wondering if perhaps there could be a cable issue somewhere. Maybe one could try switching cables around to see if that would any difference. Or slightly flexing the cable where it goes into the connector?

I'm no tech guru so this is the end of what I can come up with. After that, with me, it would be searching the internet for support, like what you did here.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #14
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

An RF system isn't going to match a directly connected mic. However, I've found the Sennheiser perfectly acceptable and have no problem relying on it. WIth the Sennheiser the audio quality definitely degrades if the gain level is not set right on the transmitter. If the gain is too low it will get noisy. Basically there is an RF noise floor and you need to get your signal as high as possible so it's as far above the floor as possible. You really have to adjust the gain on the transmitter to get the maximum level before distortion. This also makes it more reliable with less chance of RF dropout. WIth a dynamic mic you are going to need to push the gain pretty high.

The other thing to keep in mind is different mics will generate different amounts of hiss. I don't know if you are using the same mic in this test. However, if you are using the lavalier it may be worth investing in a higher quality microphone than the one that comes with the kit.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 05:14 AM   #15
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Re: Sennheiser G3 Wireless - Noise/Hiss?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
Every cable has an impedence, a combination of resistance and capacitance. Inputs are designed around certain impedences.
Cable impedance is negligible at audio frequencies, especially with today's range of impedances (source impedance as low as 50 ohms, load impedance around 10k ohms or so at the high end of the range).

It's true that 60 years ago, if you were using a non-professional crystal mic, feeding the grid of a vacuum tube (with an impedance of several hundred kilohms), then the cable capacitance might cause a bit of high frequency rolloff on very long runs. But with today's lower impedances (whether balanced or unbalanced) cable impedance isn't worth thinking about.

Indeed, cable impedance is more important within the RF part of a system. The transmitter, antenna, and interconnecting cable (more correctly called the "transmission line") should all have the same impedance. But in most cases we put the receiving antenna directly on the receiver, so there is no transmission line to think about.
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