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Old December 13th, 2005, 12:03 AM   #1
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Wireless Lav Recommendation

Yes another recomendation on wireless lavs. Our production company is looking to upgrade our wireless setup and we've been searching around and are lost in all the possibilities. We do mostly outdoor sports filming and are rarely in an indoor controlled environment. Were looking for something with better audio quality, more range, something compact, and overall just a better system. Right now we are running Sennheiser Evolution EW100 mics..any suggestions?
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Old December 13th, 2005, 12:16 AM   #2
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Well, right off the top of my head, I would suggest something like the following:

http://www.electrovoice.com/Electrovoice3/files.nsf/Pages/Super_Bowl_XXXVIII/$file/Super_Bowl_XXXVIII.pdf

Should hold up well and give you good sound from a long range.

Bryon <><
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Old December 13th, 2005, 03:00 AM   #3
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If you have the budget it would be hard to beat the weatherproof system available from Lectrosonic, especially if you're doing outdoor work.

The U-101 system from Audio Technica has great fidelity, on par with the Lectrosonic 185. Range is about 100 yards: the transmitter is 10 milliwatts, compared to the 185's 50 milliwatts. But then again, the AT system costs a fraction of what you'd spend on the Lectrosonic unit.

If I had the budget I'd get the weatherproof digital hybrid system from Lectrosonic, but the transmitter alone is $1,400. That's why I'm evaluating the AT U-101.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 06:55 AM   #4
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I own a Sennheiser Evolution G2 set which is great but not flawless. If I had the money, I'd buy the wireless set that I rent for corporate jobs because so far it has been flawless:
Micron New Explorer 100 Series
http://www.micronwireless.co.uk/products.html
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Old December 13th, 2005, 08:30 AM   #5
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Amy - Would you elaborate a little for a beginner about the 'not flawless' mentioned for the G2? I only ask as I'm a button click away from buying one, and wouldn't want to regret it if there's any issues with it.

Hope that's okay to ask?! :)
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Old December 13th, 2005, 11:01 AM   #6
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The best budget wireless systems available right now are the Sennheiser Evolution G2 series, esp. the 100 series. They're significantly better than the first Evolution 100 series (and those were OK for the money). $500ish for transmitter, receiver, little lav.

I own an Audio-Technica 101 system, but I don't use it much. And overall, it's not as good as the new Sennheiser systems, IMO.

But mostly, I use my Lectrosonic systems. Great range, great audio quality (for a wireless system), very rugged, great support. A Lectrosonics 201 system will cost about $2,000. You could maybe buy a used Lectrosonics system for less...

But I think Amy's on the right track with the rental suggestion. You can rent a Lectro 201 system for about $50-$70/day. Same range for high-end Sennheiser, Micron, etc.

Maybe before you buy that G2 system, perhaps you could rent it, a Lectro 201 (or equivalent), and take those along with your existing system out in the field and see what you think...Maybe the G2 will do what you need, but wouldn't it be nice to know for sure before you buy it and need to use it on a job?

Oh, and if you're worried mainly about audio quaility, maybe all you need is a new lav. The one Sennheiser bundles with their budget systems isn't that great, imo. Perhaps an Audio-Technica AT899, Countryman EMW (disclosure: I'm friends with the owners, but they're great mics), or something will solve some of your problems. There are more expensive lavs, too but those would probably be overkill.

Best,

Jim
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Old December 13th, 2005, 11:29 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Feeley
The best budget wireless systems available right now are the Sennheiser Evolution G2 series, esp. the 100 series.
You're obviously entitled to your opinion, but one I'd hardly agree with. In both the DC Convention Center and the LA Convention Centers, we've had nothing but problems with the G2's. Additionally the two units sent to us to review also had problems.
I had dinner recently with Fred Ginsberg, CAS, and he commented that they (the Equipment Emporium) have had numerous problems with the G2. We were joking about how wireless marketing hype has gotten worse lately.

We have roughly 40 wireless' devices here ranging from AT to Sony, LectroSonics, ComTek, Samson, and even a Nady (mostly to remember wireless hell with)

The AT's and Sony's perform exceptionally well, and of course the Lectrosonics is super, but out of most price ranges.
We produce all the audio for several touring Broadway shows, and have at least eight, and usually twelve wireless' going at once. AT's 2000 and 3000 series have been awesome in all locations, set up as 4 on each side of a rack, using the A49 paddles work wonderfully in large stages, nasty RF situations.

Obviously the G2's work for someone, because folks buy them and like them. But for myself...I tried them on multiple occasions, tuned them, tweaked them, positioned/repositioned reciever, and begged A/V people that owned them to make them work. In DC, I ended up throwing the transmitter across the room after having 3 different G2's brought in by the rental company. Maybe my body is electron heavy or something. :-)
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Old December 13th, 2005, 11:42 AM   #8
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Maybe they don't work because of people renting them before you throwing them across the room... :)

Michael
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Old December 13th, 2005, 12:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
In both the DC Convention Center and the LA Convention Centers, we've had nothing but problems with the G2's.
Obviously the G2's work for someone, because folks buy them and like them. But for myself...In DC, I ended up throwing the transmitter across the room...
Well there's your problem, and a lesson for all of us: Don't throw your equipment across the room. It's a I sometimes need to re-learn myself. However, I had one of my lectro tx run over by a car and it still works fine...So maybe the lesson is only throw certain equipment across the room. But seriously folks...

Douglas does point out a limitation to several low-cost systems, including the Sennheiser 100 series. And I should have pointed that out. They really suffer in situations with lots of other wireless/RF activity. So that means convention centers, certain press conferences, radio station transmitters, and other situations. At those times, you might have a hard time finding a good clean channel...the Senn G2 provide many frequencies, but don't lock down as precisely as some other systems. And if you have a Block "A" system in an area with active TV signals on channels 22-27, you could be in bad shape. Maybe a Block B or C system would work better...maybe worse. With low-cost systems you're more at the mercy of TV transmitters. Here's Sennheiser's frequency finder:

<http://www.sennheiserusa.com/newsite/mat_dev/frequencyfinder/Freqfinder-open.asp>

But if you don't work in such situations, the Senn G2 can work really well for you. Yes, that's my opinion and also that of other experienced (and very cranky) CAS mixers I hang out with. I don't own any, but I've used them on gigs, and they're pretty good for the price...in most situations.

Best,

Jim
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Old December 13th, 2005, 12:45 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Feeley

<http://www.sennheiserusa.com/newsite/mat_dev/frequencyfinder/Freqfinder-open.asp>
The Sennheiser Frequency Finder (or anyone else' frequency finder) and flipping a quarter will result in about the same level of accuracy when choosing a frequency.
With DTV, it's only gonna get worse, folks.

We'll soon have a training DVD on how to set all this up...you'll see how it's done at the Oly's among other places.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 02:02 PM   #11
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Don't get me wrong, I don't regret purchasing my Sennheiser G2 set, I feel it was the best I could afford and much better than the Audio Technica entry level I started with, and saves me a lot of trips to the rental house. I should also say that I am not an audio expert.

I say it is not flawless because:
-I will still get the occassional static blip
-It is sometimes still too hot for speakers even when I turn the sensitivity all the way down (-30)

So I use it when I know if I have to I can get them to repeat a word or ask them to speak softer. If I only have one shot at it though, I rent the Micron.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 02:06 PM   #12
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so ... if I have $500 burning a hole in my pocket and I want a wireless lav - what do I buy?

Oh, and if I want the camera to move does that change the answer?
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Old December 13th, 2005, 02:35 PM   #13
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I can only speak from my experience Kim, but like I said I would still buy the G2 but like with anything have a backup. I always have a shotgun onboard to use for backup in case anything crazy happens with the wireless.

I was also interested to try out the Sony True Diversity for the same price range but I couldn't find one in stock at my local retailers. Maybe it is an option.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 02:42 PM   #14
 
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In that price range, I'd be looking at the Sony UWP or the AT 101, but the 101 is just a bit beyond that price range.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 04:18 PM   #15
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I have a pair of the G2 ENG kits and NEVER had a problem, except when the DJ was using the same freq as me - took 2 seconds to fix...

I like them so much I just ordered another pair for the other camera.

For weddings I put one (omni lavs) on the officiant and one on the groom and the pick the bride through both of them. You even hear her whisper.

Then for music events I use the plug-on transmitters on microphones and then I can place the mics where I want and don't have to run wires.

There is nothing about them I don't love and the batteries last for the whole day.

Make sure you pick a band based on the TV channel usage in your area!
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