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Old February 26th, 2003, 10:14 AM   #1
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I have been struggling with the choice of buying a VHF wireless system (probably the Azden WR22-Pro) versus one of the obviously much more expensive UHF systems. I have 3 questions.

(1) I've read on this forum that VHF systems are sometimes susceptible to radio static." In your personal experience, does this happen 10% of the time? 25% of the time? 50% of the time? or only very rarely? (I know that the "correct" answer is "it depends," but please tell me your personal experience.)

(2) Is the static issue the primary difference between the VHF and UHF systems or is there also a quality of sound difference? If there IS a sound quality difference, is it minor or major? (Again, I know that the "correct" answer is "it depends," but please tell me your personal experience.)

(3) If I decide to get a UHF system, does it make any sense to get the systems that just operate on one frequency? It seems to me that if I just have one frequency, I am risking static if I happen to be in an area where that frequency is already in use and thus, in a way, wasting my money buying the UHF system rather than a VHF system.

FYI, I will use the system primarily for documentaries in different parts of the country.

Thanks for your help.
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Old February 26th, 2003, 12:13 PM   #2
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For maximum reliability select a UHF system capable of dynamically using multiple channels in he event of interference. VHF systems are much less expensive and may be reliable in rural areas but not in urban areas (unless you really want to hear cab dispatchers).

Sound quality is principally a function of the mic used, not UHF -vs- VHF.

Bottom line: A useable (non-toy) wireless UHF system with a decent lav mic will run -at least- $400-450, with the professional-grade systems, such as those from Lectrosonics, running $1,500+. You don't have to shoot for the top, but stay well off of the bottom.

Samson, Audio-Technica and Azden have very good offerrings in the mid-range. Spend some time on their sites and do a Search here on these brands to see what others may have to say.
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Old February 26th, 2003, 05:14 PM   #3
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I've used the Azden VHF models. They work OK in my area (Washington DC suburbs). I recommend you consider a diversity receiver (e.g., Azden WDR-Pro model) if receiver or speaker are moving.

A factor is selection is what your planned uses are, and how critical the sound quality is. There is a big difference between providing an understandable voice and maintaining the tonal quality of a golden throat.

There is a bit of science to sleecting operating frequencies for VHF models. And I agree with Ken that quality follows cost. And sound quality is more the mic and electronics than the frequency band used. But avoid the low cost (under $200) systems.
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Old February 28th, 2003, 11:00 PM   #4
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We've got the Samson Um32/T32 wireless system.

Purchased from B&H about a year ago for $489.00. It's worked great, absolutely no static or dropouts. It has good range, about 300 feet I'm guessing. It also sounds fantastic in my opinion, for the price.

It's camera mountable and highly transportable.
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Old March 1st, 2003, 02:16 PM   #5
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Brand new Sennheiser Evolution Ew112p and Ew122p UHF wireless system are available on Ebay for under $400. The difference in these two units is the type of lavilier microphone. Other units are available with non-portable receivers for the same price.

These are very good units.

The portable receiver is not a diversity receiver, but the build quality and sound quality are excellent. They have numerous frequencies (1280), and you can change to any one of four preset (ones that you have pre-selected) very easily.

I highly recommend these units or other Sennheiser units. I assmue that you desire a portable unit. I would not buy a unit that has just one or two frequencies, this is just asking for trouble.

Good sound is critical.

There are other quality brands as well. I would not risk getting a VHF system.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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