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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old October 22nd, 2002, 08:27 AM   #1
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Advice please: XLR sound Canons MA-300 or Beachtek adapter or....?

Any advice on what adapter to choose:

Have an XM-2 and two Sennheiser ME66/K6 mics.

- Canons MA-300

- Beachtek DXA-4P

Or some other adapter.


Pros and cons on each adapter please.
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Old October 22nd, 2002, 10:00 AM   #2
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I can only share my personal experience, but I have been using the Studio 1 Pro box for a while now and like it very much. Here are its features.
It has two inputs and outputs to a 4' cord with a minijack on the end (for the camera). The box is designed to clip on your belt. When I'm on a location shoot involving getting in and out of vehicles, this proves to be a good design: the box is secure, and I can route cables and peripherals (wireless receivers, etc.) either to other places on my belt, or to pockets on my jacket. The weight is off the camera, so I'm not waving cords around while I'm trying to work. When I'm working on my tripod, I hang the box on the d-ring of my tripod strap. It's a passive device, which means no batteries, and it doesn't introduce noise, or seem to pick up interference at all.

Each channel has an XLR input, and a second input that is a mono 1/8" jack on channel 1, a 1/4" mono jack on channel 2. This is great for me because I usually use XLR inputs, but sometimes run a wireless on channel one that has a mono 1/8" plug. Each channel also has a switch that allows input at line level, so you can go in directly from a mixing board or house system if you want (handy in auditoriums, etc.). There's a switch to mix inputs over both camera channels if you want, and a ground lift switch if for some reason you end up with a ground loop. Each channel also has an attenuator to balance volume, if you are going into a camera with only one level control. It's handy with the GL2 because you can set the level you want at the camera, and then cut the volume to nothing at the box to avoid noise on the mic that is not active, and then return to the preset level just by maxing the control on the box when you want that mic active. There is no loss of signal strength through the box. I've been told there is some loss across the BEachtek box, but I haven't personally verified this (that could matter, depending on your mic and camera, since boosting the camera gain might add noise to your track). The inputs are electrically insulated from the outputs, so if your camera has dc current on the jack (Sony), no worries.

In short, my experience is that it is a very well-designed box, suitable for use with a wide range of equipment and situations, and built with high quality materials. I bought it after talking to as many people as I could, and have not regretted it a bit. I like the fact that I can use it with other recording equipment (audio, for instance) to use balanced lines, if I need to, and I like the belt-clip concept a lot. A whole lot less chance of toppling the camera if somebody trips over a cable! And no, I don't own stock in the company: I just really like well-designed equipment that does what it is supposed to do and stays out of the way.

I hope this helps,
Linc Kesler
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Old October 22nd, 2002, 05:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice.. two more Q.

You said:
It has two inputs and outputs to a 4' cord with a minijack on the end (for the camera).

Since I sometimes will shoot walking/running with the camcorder in my hand..... this sounds like music in my ears...

But can I extend the 4' cord (to the camera) without generating any crap sound. It would be nice to put the wire to the camera out the arms of my jacket, do not want it hanging around. I guess 6' to 8' would be long enough.

And since I have the adapter on my belt.... I visited studio1productions website, but could not find any out cord for my earphones...... it would be nice to get this from the adapter and not another cord to my camcorder ?????

Again...Thanks a lot..
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Old October 22nd, 2002, 05:56 PM   #4
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Hi Tore,

I guess you could use a stereo minijack extension cord to work as you suggest, but I'd wait until you get the box: you might find the cord long enough. There is no headphone jack, but I'd suggest that it's worth an extra cord to the camera to get your sound there: if there's a problem, you'll hear it! I once recorded a brilliant lecture, but had forgotten my headphones and had borrowed a wireless mic. When I got back to my office and turned on the monitor, great visuals and no sound. Not a mistake I'll ever make again!

Good luck,
Linc
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Old October 24th, 2002, 05:38 AM   #5
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Hi and thanks a lot.

Hi Linc.

Your suggestion sounds good. So I ordered it yesterday.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old November 2nd, 2002, 05:52 PM   #6
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The only reason I would choose the Ma-300 is because it has video out. I think it is a bnc connection.
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Old December 12th, 2002, 09:10 AM   #7
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*THE* XLR Adapter

I'm currently borrowing a Beachtek XLR adapter for my new GL2, and I need to buy one of my own. I see only two options...

I could get the Beachtek DXA4P which is the standard screw to the tripod mount kind...
http://www.beachtek.com/dxa4p.html


or

the Studio1 XLR-BP PRO which is the belt-clip kind....
http://www.studio1productions.com/xlr-bp_pro.htm


What's the buzz out there on these two? I know the Beachtek is more common. The Studio1 is cheaper, and you can clip it to your belt. I've only used the Beachtek and so have no frame of reference since I don't have much experience in these matters...

Also, is there another similar good product out there that I don't know about?
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Old December 12th, 2002, 09:31 AM   #8
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What's wrong with the MA300 Canon adaptor? I've got a Sennhiesor mic clamped to it. Just done some tests with it - it works. Or am I missing something?

Grazie
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Old December 12th, 2002, 10:01 AM   #9
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2 reasons

1. The thing is kind of flimsy and awkward
2. I've heard that it doesn't have balanced connectors, and at the very least is only designed for short runs.

I don't know if #2 is true, but I do know that the annoying #1 is reason enough for me to avoid it altogether. Apparently I'm not alone on this, as I've found much discussion on this topic on several sites and reviews.
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Old December 12th, 2002, 10:02 AM   #10
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I use Sound Devices products http://www.sounddevices.com/index.html In the past i've tried both Studio 1 and BeachTek but I was not satified with the quality and overall construction and reliability. I do a lot of field work and on occasion by equipment gets abused. The sound Devices products are very rugid, offer more standard features and have better specs.

Jeff
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Old December 12th, 2002, 10:11 AM   #11
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Jeff,

Which one of their products would be their equivalent of something like the basic XLR adapter for my GL2?

I like the idea behind that USBPre thing... Would be nice to record sound right to a laptop... 'course, I'm low budget and just trying to scrape something passable together for right now!

Thanks!
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Old December 12th, 2002, 01:13 PM   #12
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Imran - Used the rig with the Senn, an extra light, plug it into the top "spare" shoe of the MA300 - no problem here. Sound balance is controllable via the XM2 controls OR better still do it post shoot in the NLE s/w. Looked at the Beechtek - looked good, bolted under the cammy into the tripod bush, but needs to be vertically "XLR-plu-wired" to any "above" cammy external mic. Wellll Imran, "Yer pays yer money yer takes yer choice".

The MA300 is plastic, HARD plastic, which results on it adding little to the overall wrist weight/mass when holding up the thing. The whole cammy is plastic - yes? The "fixing" joint relies on the shoe sliding into the exsisting Canon shoe - BUT it does have a truly large if not massive thumb nut to tighten up the device.

I did a short pub/bar R 'n R shoot with it - it was okay and wouldn't have liked to have anything heavier - yes?

Best regards - Grazie
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Old December 12th, 2002, 02:31 PM   #13
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It says it right here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/canongl2/articles/topfive.php

The MA-300 is intended for nearby unbalanced situations, not for long runs, for which "you might want to consider a different third-party XLR adapter solution." To me that sounds like it's fine for a cam-mounted shotgun solution, but if you're doing a boom situation, forget it. Also, I don't believe the MA-300 has any auxiliary inputs.

I also believe that the Studio1 XLR adapter can be used with a DAT or a MiniDisc recorder, because the grounding configuration is variable. And since it's a belt clip situation, there's no weight issue at all (although then a cam-mounted shotgun becomes more difficult).

I might have just convinced myself, but I'd like some other input from anyone out there who might have used one/all of these options?
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Old December 12th, 2002, 03:05 PM   #14
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The one single reason not to buy the MA300 is that it has no phantom power supply.
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Old December 12th, 2002, 05:43 PM   #15
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I use several Sound Devices products. I use the MP-1 for most of my field work. It's very sturdy and provides a line out and phantom power. It also has a seperate headphone out that is adjustable. It may be more than what you need however. If I had to pick between the Studio 1 and the Beachtek, I would go with the BeachTek. It held up under field conditions much better.

Jeff
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