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Old May 1st, 2003, 09:06 AM   #1
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Azden vs Sennheiser wireless

I'm getting ready to purchase a new wireless lav system and I've pretty much narrowed my selection down to the Azden 500LT system and the Sennheiser 100 ENG system.

I would like to hear from users of both systems and find out how the systems are working for you.

In particular, I'm leaning towards the Azden because it's a diversity receiver and has a balanced output. But the Sennheiser is a clean looking system from a company with a great reputation for audio and their system looks pretty capable by itself. It also comes with the handheld mike and the plug on transmitter and that is a big plus.

I would like to know if Sennheiser users have had any problems because their system is non-diversity and if they have noticed any noise because of the unbalanced output.

Thank you for your insights and advice.

Ben Lynn
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Old May 1st, 2003, 10:47 AM   #2
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I don't know about the Azden 500LT but I've been using the 500U system for quite a while and other than using Sony ECM44 mics I like the system a lot. I also use an Azden handheld wireless and everything seems to work well. The construction of the receiver is solid enough and the transmitters are plastic as are most but with just a little care they should last a long time. I can vecro the receiver to my cam (pd150) and other than not being able to use the viewfinder it works out well. All in all I'm a happy camper with Azden stuff.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 10:53 AM   #3
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I use the WR22 system with diversity wireless reciever and lapel mics. While it's the little brother to the set up you are looking at, I haven't had any problems. Of course, if I had the money, I probably would have gone with Senheiser based on name and rep alone.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 11:47 AM   #4
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Our Azden 400 unit has worked well for us.
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Old May 4th, 2003, 12:42 AM   #5
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No problems without diversity.

I do believe the output is balanced. Regardless, with such a short output cable, it would take a strong signal to bother it. The receiver comes with both a minijack and a XLR cable.

I've yet to hear of anyone having problems with the Sennheiser. They are also built like bricks. I had an actor drop mine about 3 feet onto concrete. No marks on the case. No problem with the device.

The ME2 microphone (lav) is great. If you get it as a stand-alone lavaliere, it is about $400.
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Old May 4th, 2003, 01:23 AM   #6
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I own a couple of the Sennheiser EW-100 units, which served me very well on many, many shoots. I recently had them re-tweaked and now again they serve me very well. Even though they are non-diversity, I find they have a very consistent long range without dropouts. Their range compares very favorably to Lectrosonics, which cost a lot more. I like the fact that I can easily switch frequencies at a moments notice, and that they handle any level of signal (mic or line or anything in between) very well both on the inputs and the outputs. The mic is a good tight omni, perfect for recording to video - yielding a nice balance between voice pickup and ambience.

They are just the right size so I can easily stack both of them together onto the back of my MA-1oo backplate and still be low-profile enough to allow my XL1S to still fit easily inside my Kata quickdraw bag.

I'm totally happy with my Sennheiser EW-100's and I use them frequently. One thing I like is the ability to tune more than one receiver to the same frequency, which is helpful for when you want the same mic to got to more than one camera. Also, I have used them with great success as a director's headphone feed with Sony MDR-7506 headphones (I re-wired these cans for mono), just the right impedance yielding a good volume for the director to listen to with the MDR's straight out of the receiver.

They have a lot of added value.

- don
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Old May 4th, 2003, 11:52 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for all of your feedback.

You gave me confirmation that I'm making a choice between two really solid systems that can both perform. I wanted to make sure that they were both up to par and it sounds like they are. Thanks.

Ben Lynn
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Old May 10th, 2003, 01:40 AM   #8
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one thing to note about the senn's is that theyre built like a brick Sh!thouse... absolutely rock solid, and can be used to nail that picture on the wall.. (not that you would but anyway :) )
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Old May 11th, 2003, 05:14 PM   #9
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Yes, I love my Sennheiser too. They are non-diversity and work better than spec. I was told by the Sennheiser tech I would not miss diversity with this unit, and he was absolutely right.

The transmitter has also worked well using other mics too. Sometimes I have used a hand mic with EW112P without any problems.

My only regret...I have only one!
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Old May 17th, 2003, 05:28 PM   #10
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Senn 112

Read the book that comes with the unit.

An easy test for the system is to wire it to your computer input and let someone walk a mile away.

I have 3 Senn 100/112 units (one for ea camera).

I have wired my AKG C1000S to the Senn transmitter (XLR to mini cable). It worked great. The boom mike is cool to. You can wire it in the same way.

I attach the Senn to the AT815 boom mic and it is cool to listen to the birds and wildlife.

You can buy good XLR to mini patches. But buy good cable and connectors.

Clark Wire and Cable did a job for me, but I terminate most of my own wire.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 01:33 AM   #11
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I have two Sennheiser Evolution wireless setups. I have two non-diversity receivers, a lav with transmitter module and a general purpose transmitter that plugs onto any self powered XLR microphone. Both setups seem to work very well over reasonably large areas.

The worst problem I got into with the microphones was at a downtown wedding recently. I had a wireless microphone up front next to where the bride and groom were standing. Everything was going well for the first few minutes, and then someone else in the neighborhood came onto the frequency that I was using. Whoever it was seemed to be near some construction work, as I got some jack hammer like sounds and other construction noises. This is the first time that I have ever experienced any interference, and unfortuanately there was nothing that I could do at the time as I couldn't change frequency on the transmitter mid ceremony. Luckily this occasion was a freebee for my neice's wedding (she won't complain) and I had another camera close to the front that was able to pick up adequate sound that was usable. Now I am thinking that redundancy is crucial when filming important events as you never know what is going to happen.

The Senns are the only wireless microphones that I have used, but I'm pretty pleased with them so far.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 04:46 AM   #12
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Alan, thats an interesting fact there..
how did you pick up the intereferance?

I monitor all recording thru headfones, however the freq set for the Senns should be locked onto the transmitter...
were your batteries on the transmitter new??
The reciever may have been scanning UHF siganls on the same channel if it couldnt pick up the transmitter...

either way, UHF devices DO have a tendency to sway... I havent experienced it personally (thak god)
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Old May 18th, 2003, 02:05 PM   #13
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I was monitoring the sound through headphones. You can imagine what was going through my head when I started hearing these "extra" sounds!

The transmitter and receiver were set to the same frequency and they were working fine together. Unfortunately, the receiver picked up this other signal as well.

Perhaps I should not have used the default setting for the frequency. It is very easy to change the Senn frequency to avoid interference, but I had never had a whisper of interference on the default channel at previous events, so I continued using it.

Next time I'll also do more tests beforehand to make sure that I'm not picking up anything extra. It's easy to mute the microphone and listen for a few minutes to make sure it is dead quiet.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 09:49 PM   #14
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Always have a second recording system operating in these events. I use a Sony MD recorder as a backup. Small, simple, easy. I don't have to worry if I am going to get good sound when I double up.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 01:54 AM   #15
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What Sony MD recorder do you use/recommend? How do you get the audio into your editing system? Do you have to re-record it into your camera or computer, or can you directly upload it via USB or firewire?
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