SONY WRT & WRR 805 UHF Pro Radio/wireless - Anybody tried? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 13th, 2006, 05:42 AM   #1
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SONY WRT & WRR 805 UHF Pro Radio/wireless - Anybody tried?

Last year while doing a major DV project in USA covering several months, I soon found the need for a good quality wireless mic setup for certain situations where my two AT long shotgun microphones on long XLR cables were out of range or impossible to use. All the lower-end wireless clip mic systems just gave terrible sound compared to my AT 815 shotgun mics, or had too short a range.

This is where Michael Teutsch stepped in to offer valuable help. He loaned me a complete Sony UWP C1 kit to use during the second stages of the project through late summer and autumn. The Sony UWP provided superb sound pick-up at long range, and helped me complete the filming with plenty of quality sound. I cannot thank Mike enough for helping a fellow DVi member that he'd never even met. Thanks a million Mike!

Sadly, I had to return the Sony UWP kit back to Mike at the end of the project, as he needed it for his own filming - so I was on the lookout for a pro-standard wireless mic for use with my Canon XL equipment.

The Sennheiser and AT radio mics had good reports, but I'd already tried out the Sony UWP and really liked it. The few problems were the slightly 'plasticky' build of the Sony UWP units, and the clip mic did tend to pick-up wind noise during heavy gusts. Even so, I decided to possibly buy a set, but began to also look at the higher grade Sony radio mics.

One of the top wireless/radio units (only recently finished production by Sony, but still sold at dealers) is the SONY 805 FREEDOM system. I'd heard some very positive reports about this system by professional broadcasters and film teams....but the price was a bit on the high side at over £1,145 (over $2,000 with VAT)! However, given the chance to buy a Freedom set offered at a lowered price, I recently decided to purchase a full set - Sony WRT 805 UHF synthesized transmitter and WRR 805 UHF synthesized tuner/receiver, plus miniature clip mic shown here:

http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/gimme...y_freedom-kit1

Has anybody tried the Sony 805 system, or know of any reviews, or others that have used these radio mics?

I'll be trying them out this weekend to see how they compare to the much cheaper Sony UWP system. First impressions on taking the kit out of the box is that it looks very robust and well made, as well as being surprisingly small and lightweight.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 02:30 PM   #2
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I've generally had very good experience with the Sony 800 series. It is UHF, frequency agile, and very robust. A buddy has some in his rental stock, it seems to keep on working. I've used it

I have several of the 805 transmitters with a rack-mount 6 channel receiver chassis. That works great! (of course with the larger mains-powered receivers I also get amplified antennas and diversity).

The 805 trans. has been very good, however. I've not had direct experience with the 805 receiver, but other portable receivers of the 800 series have been good.

The ECM-77 is not a bad lav at all for a voice recording mic. It is designed as an omni, open and transparent, no special emphasis, very small. I have some of these, they are a good interview mic. All these small condensors are quite susceptible to wind noise, and popping "p" as well if the subject is speaking directly to them. Sony ships them with a little ball windscreen of about 1cm diameter, hard to conceal but effective. There are also aftermarket fuzzy windscreens that are a little more versatile. And if the mic goes under the shirt/blouse that frequently takes care of any wind noise (but presents its own problems of clothing noise).

I'd be happy with an 805/77 series setup for general ENG, interview, wedding, and etc.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 04:57 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for the information, Seth.

I'm not sure if the mini clip mic that I've got is the ECM-77. It came without the foam cover and may be the ECM-77BMP Omni-directional mic. It is extremely small and doesn't have such a wide cone as the Sony UWP kit mic, nor so loud. I found that the UWP mic did not 'pop' a lot, but did suffer in wind, or when in contact with clothing. The clip mic that came with my 805 kit does not seem to suffer so badly with clothing-rub noises(but that may just because it does not have the foam cover). I'll be taking the kit out today to test how it works outdoors and at range. I'll probably also buy a 'deadcat' fur windcreen. Reinhardt Film & TV (a Danish company) made me two special long fur windscreens for my two AT 815a shotgun mics, so I will probably buy their LAP Windsock:
http://www.reinhardt-film.com/new/fur-windsocks.html

They will also be at the 2006 Video Forum at Earls Court, London 7-9th Feb; and there are free tickets if you log-on to the website.
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Old January 16th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #4
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I've just got back from testing the Sony 805 radio mic kit, and I can confidently say... Wow! - I'm impressed with the performance!

The first simple test was to place an XL1s on a tripod inside my house and just walk outside of the house to see if it picked up my voice through brick walls...It did, with no break-up of sounds.

Next, I drove with my partner to a location with high hills and forests. The tiny clip mic was pinned to the front of her fleece jacket, and she then walked along a track away from the tripod-mounted camera, for 100 yards - Perfect pick-up of her conversation. Unfortunately, it was Sunday, so some dog walkers and also noisy trail bike riders came right past her...yet I hardly picked up any other sounds except her voice. She walked another 25 yards through dense forest bushes and trees, and turned her back to the direction of the camera and then began whispering...still perfect clear voice was being picked up at my camera 150 yards away.
She then walked up a track (with her back and the mic to the camera) for 200 yards (continually talking all the way...well women can talk to themselves without stopping!) and then turned to face me - Still perfect pickup of her voice. She turned and walked another 100 yards through dense forest and thick cover. This is where I had just two 'pop' sounds before she reached 300 yards away from the tripod (still picking up her full conversation though!).
I then asked her to walk along the track and down a steep hill completely out of sight of the camera for 150 yards (walking with mic facing away from the camera) through more trees and bushes etc. Amazingly, the Sony 805 STILL picked up her voice, and only when she had walked to the bottom of the hill with at least 100-yards of solid hillside between us, did I experience the odd 'pop' from the head phones - although some of this may have been her open goretex jacket rubbing against the mic as she walked.

We then moved to a different location on the shores of a large lake, to test for wind. The bare and tiny clip mic (with no foam or fur windsock cover) picked up a slight hiss when strong wind was blowing directly off the lake onto the exposed mic. I then clipped the mic onto her T-shirt beneath the fleece jacket (Polartec 300 series fleece - the thickest winter range), and then zipped it up and asked her to continue talking with the wind hitting her face on. It worked perfectly, with not a single hiss or pop from wind...just perfect pick-up of her voice even though the mic was underneath a heavy fleece jacket.

She then began to feed some ducks and swans at close range. With the Canon XL mic control dials set on Auto, it ONLY picked up her voice and not the birds. I then switched the control to manual and turned slowly to full volume, and only just started to pick up the bird calls and nearby motorway at full volume.

I tried some other tests, and finally came to the conclusion that the Sony 805 certainly performed flawlessly during every test. Not only that, but battery drain (which has been high on every other radio mic that I have tested) was very low - lasting up to 6-hours continuous use on one AA battery.
The video tape was then downloaded to the computer, burned on to a DVD disc, and then played on a television to see how the end result sounded. I was amazed – just flawless sound, better than if I had hired a sound team to walk around with her holding a shotgun mic on a pole.
I had really been impressed with the performance of Mike’s Sony UWP 1 mic system and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone… But, for sheer top performance and robust build, the Sony 805 receives top honours!
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Old January 16th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #5
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Tony, that's great. Kudos to you for extensive testing before you rely on it in the field.

And yes, 6 or so hours on a single AA battery is a nice feature.
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